Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken

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If you love bourbon chicken from the food court at the mall, you’ll love this version of Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken that’s made right in your slow cooker!

sliced honey bourbon chicken on a plate with rice and zucchini.

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken

Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken

One of my favorite things about cooking, and I’ve said this before, is having leftovers. Today, however, there was no chicken left and none of the M&M cookies.

I hate when that happens. But, it is a good indicator of how good these dishes are.

I’ve made bourbon chicken before but I really liked this crock pot rendition. This version tastes less like the food court dish but it is simple and very good. I forgot how much I’ve missed my crock pot the last few months.

honey bourbon chicken sliced on a plate next to brown rice.

Why it’s called Bourbon Chicken

Fun Fact: There’s no bourbon in this recipe, which many of you have pointed out to me (mostly rudely). The name Bourbon Chicken comes from Bourbon Street in New Orleans, which it’s named after.

If it makes you happy, throw in some bourbon.

crockpot bourbon chicken sliced on a plate with brown rice and roasted zucchini.

When I was in college, I used to stop at the mall that was across the street and have lunch. My favorite restaurant in the food court was one called Bourbon Street Grill. They had the best bourbon chicken.

I used to get the chicken with potatoes and rice. #carbsoncarbs

This slow cooker version makes a lot of “sauce” which is perfect for spooning over rice or potatoes or whatever you’re serving with the chicken.

Bourbon Chicken Ingredients

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • Chicken – I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can also use thighs or tenders.
  • Salt & Pepper – The essentials.
  • Honey
  • Soy Sauce – I like to use low sodium.
  • Ketchup
  • Oil – I usually use vegetable oil but you could use olive oil or canola oil.
  • Garlic – Use two cloves or 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
  • Onion – I usually use a yellow or white onion.
  • Red Pepper Flakes – Red pepper flakes help to balance the sweetness of the honey and give the chicken a tiny kick. You can skip it if you want.

How to thicken up the sauce

It will be a thin sauce but you can make a cornstarch slurry (2 parts cold water with 1 part cornstarch) and whisk it in to thicken it up. I personally prefer it thin to spoon over my rice and veggies, but I’ve had many commenters say they’d like it thicker.

How to store leftovers

Leftovers should be stored covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top. Or, if you have enough, you can put it back in the slow cooker to heat through.

overhead shot of bourbon chicken, brown rice, and zucchini on a dinner plate.

Do you call it a slow cooker or a crock pot? I asked on Facebook and it seems most people call it a Crock Pot but that’s a brand.

Like calling tissue Kleenex.

Or inline skates Roller Blades (do people still do that?? ha).

Whatever you call it, it’s good. & really easy. I served it with brown rice and roasted zucchini.


collage of photos of bourbon chicken with text reading "slow cooker honey bourbon chicken".

Can you put frozen chicken in the Crock Pot?

This is a common question I get, but the safest, best answer is no, you shouldn’t put frozen chicken in the slow cooker.

Because of the amount of time it takes a slow cooker to get meat up to a safe temperature (it’s a slow cooker, after all), bacteria could contaminate the chicken.

Meat should already be thawed when you place it in the crock pot. Ideally, you’d thaw the chicken in the fridge the night before.

That said, I have used frozen chicken in a pinch and lived to tell the tale, but now that I know better, I don’t.

Can I make it in the Instant Pot?

I haven’t tested in the IP, I’m more of a slow cooker girl lol, but I’d whisk up the sauce in the instant pot, put the thawed chicken in & coat it in the sauce. Seal & cook for 15 mins, natural release for 5 mins, then quick release.

Tools to make Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken

  • My slow cooker of choice – I love that you can set the cook time then it automatically switches over to “warm” after the cook time.
  • Time-saving minced garlic – I always keep minced garlic packed in oil in my fridge.
  • A whisk if you’re going to make that slurry I talked about above.

Need more crock pot chicken ideas? Try these:

Click here to view my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.

Watch how easy this Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken is to make:


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How to make Bourbon Chicken

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken | Persnickety Plates

Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
If you love bourbon chicken from the food court at the mall, you’ll love this version of Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken that’s made right in your slow cooker!
4.47 from 1935 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 715 kcal


  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic or 1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • Trim your chicken breasts, sprinkle with salt & pepper and place them in your slow cooker.
  • In a medium bowl, add the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, onion and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1½ to 2½ hours.
  • When done, remove chicken from crock pot and cut into chunks.


Adapted from Table for Two


Serving: 1gCalories: 715kcalCarbohydrates: 85gProtein: 52gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 2668mgPotassium: 1121mgFiber: 1gSugar: 78gVitamin A: 295IUVitamin C: 6.4mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 2.6mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

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Bourbon Chicken just like from the food court! | Persnickety Plates

Or maybe you’d like…
Bourbon Chicken with Roasted Potatoes (a non-slow cooker version)

Roasted Zucchini to go with it

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  1. Diane says

    Hi the crockpot bourbon chicken sounds great. Have you ever used bone in with skin thighs ? I have some in my freezer that I don’t know what to do with haha!

    • Melissa Williams says

      I haven’t but lots of people have told me they actually prefer thighs in this recipe.

  2. Rochelle M McDonald says

    Thank you for explaining the “Bourbon” part of the recipe. I had often wondered.

  3. Lyndi says

    How come there is no bourbon in the Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken? Where does the bourbon flavor come from if not from bourbon?

  4. Paula says

    2 stars
    The chicken stayed too dry and salty. I may have cooked it too long.

    • Caryn says

      One thing I have learned when cooking chicken in the slow cooker is to always start out on high for about a half an hour to an hour and then you can turn it down to low if you want. This way the chicken doesn’t dry out. Otherwise it runs out every single time for me. But if you start on the high, it comes out perfect.

  5. Karin says

    Can I use Worcestershire sauce instead of soy sauce?

    • Melissa Williams says

      I haven’t tested to see how much it affects taste, but it should be fine.

  6. Shelley Havemeier says

    5 stars
    Do you have any suggestions for making this in the oven instead. My meats always turn out dry in the slow cooker for some reason.

  7. Chuck Wood says

    What’s in this recipn a name? Where is the “Bourbon” in this recipe????

    • Beck says

      Id like to know tio. I see no explanation anywhere about the bourbon???

  8. Sabrina Stinson says

    This is a new favorite! I cut my potato in wedges and cooked them in the sauce along with the chicken. I will be making it again very soonn

  9. Jackie says

    Can you use bourbon? Would you substitute bourbon for ketchup.

    • Melissa Williams says

      You can add bourbon in addition to the other ingredients. Alcohol doesn’t always cook off in the slow cooker though so be mindful of that.

  10. Jordi says

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe!
    Does this freeze well if you make it ahead of time?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Happy to hear that! I think it will freeze fine. We never have enough leftovers to test 🙂

  11. Tina Vawser says


    I’m new to the page & have a question.

    I no longer have a slow cooker & will be adapting this to the Instant Pot. Should I use some chicken broth to bolster the fluid? I’m kinda thinking about 1/2 cup or should it be more?

    I do not use the “slow cooker” setting on the IP, as it isn’t, it’s actually a ‘simmer’ type setting – a slow cooker heats the sides as well as the bottom in a ceramic pot, an Instant Pot only heats the bottom of a stainless-steel pot so the cooking type isn’t really the same and nor are the results.

    The recipe looks lovely & I’d love to try it!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi Tina, welcome 🙂

      I haven’t tested in the IP but I think you’ll have plenty of liquid without the additional broth. I’d 15 minutes on manual, then 5 min natural release (with thawed chicken).

      I have never tested the slow cooker function on the IP but I have only heard negative things so that makes sense.

  12. Sherrie says

    5 stars
    I added a chopped green pepper and 1 can of pineapple tidbits (drained) to this and it was so good! The pineapple gave it a little extra sweetness to it. I also used a little bit of corn starch to the sauce to thicken it just a little bit after it was cooked! So yummy!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Great additions, thanks for letting me know!

  13. Mo says

    5 stars
    Super easy dump recipe. Very tasty. Will be making this again. Only change I made was to increase the red pepper flakes to 1tsp since we like things a little more spicy. Big hit with the whole family,

  14. Betty says

    Like to try different recipes, going to try this sounds good and easy!

  15. Betty says

    Like to try different recipes, going to try this sounds good

  16. Rachel says

    5 stars
    This was delicious and a hit with my family! I love that all the ingredients are something I already had in my pantry. One question I did have for you is how to recommend storing leftovers? I made the recipe along with white rice and was debating if I should store all three items separately so as not soak up the sauce. Any thoughts you have are most appreciated!

    • Melissa Williams says

      I would store and reheat separately. I’m glad you liked it!

  17. Lisa Lute says

    1 star
    This was the worst I have ever had! If I could share a pic, I would! Burnt, salty and dry! In the trash!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Sounds like you did something wrong if you burnt it…

    • Lisa Lute, probably says

      LOL “this here recipe is trash cuz I don’t know how to cook real good”

  18. Beck says

    1 star
    Where’s the bourbon??

  19. summer says

    5 stars
    If I use frozen chicken breast, can I just cook it on low for 7-8 hours? I like to put things together before I leave for work, so it’s ready when I get home.

    • Melissa Williams says

      I don’t recommend using frozen chicken, it takes too long to come up to a safe temp, but yes, it will work.

  20. Clancy says

    This sounds like a wonderful recipe that I am looking forward to making! However, I am a type 1 diabetic and the carb count is awfully high. I was thinking of reducing the honey, by how much and should I replace with anything else? Your suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi, I’m sorry I haven’t tested with any replacements. Stevia maybe?

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